Physical Address: 4265 San Felipe Street, Suite 1100, Houston, Texas 77027
Mailing Address: Box 22091, Houston Texas 77227
Email Us: info@samhoustonswfilmfund.com

Our Business Model

There are two models that can be accessed through this particular fund at this time. The models are "director" driven models as opposed to the traditional "studio" or "producer" driven models of the past. The lead actors play as important a role as the director in ensuring creativity and commercial success of the investment. We see the "producer" more as a project manager than the more traditional role of a "promoter" or "broker" of a film project. The IMDB and boxofficemojo.com numbers and the sales numbers associated with an actor or director are the two main indicatiors and benchmarks for evaluating the commercial success probability of a film project. Other indicators tied to projected ticket sales and foreign markets also play a role in our investment decision. At this time we are unable to fund independent film projects, internships, or film industry education programs. We hope this will change in the near future.

Model #1 - Film Project Evaluation Check List - Equity

$20 million maximum

1. If you have a script (property) that needs equity, and you have not yet taken it to the "Private Placement Memorandum" (PPM) stage, the Fund views this situation as a unique opportunity and would like to talk to you about Equity Funding and how it will facilitate the PPM process.  We ask that the script be matched to a “named director” (IMDbPro STARmeter ranking of 4000 or better) and a “named actress or actor” (IMDbPro STARmeter ranking of 2000 or better). The ratings give an indication of the perceived marketability of a film during distribution as well as ultimate risk for ROI.

2. The following documents, normally referred to as a "Producer's Package", need to be provided to the fund for evaluation of funding. The review and funding process normally takes 2 to 6 months.

1.     Treatment and/or copy of US Copyright registered script

2.     Non-Disclosure agreement

3.     Legal opinion letter on the copyrights for the script or book and the legal status of the ‘movie rights’ *

4.     Business Plan with a full production budget - Below and Above the Line (preferred format Movie Magic)

5.     LLC documents for the Movie’s Name and Script if set up under a Special Purpose Company (SPC)

6.     State or SEC filings if any or draft PPM if any

7.     Distribution Plan with P&A Budget, Draft distributor Agreement, residual agreements if any

8.     Producer Agreements if any

9.     Production Schedule (preferred format Movie Magic)

10.   Agreements in place with writers concerning residuals

11.   List of preferred vendors and/or quotations (if available)

12.   Director and Actor attachment agreements or commitment letters signed by authorized agent

3. The Fund does not encourage you at this stage of equity, prior to the project being taken to PPM, to get bogged down in discussions on residual commissions or talent commissions, expectations; these will fall into place after the PPM is funded and in accordance with the P&A requirements. The distribution and P&A plans will drive residuals availability offered to the creative parties and investors. 

4. With equity funding in place, the manager and attorneys with the Fund will underwrite offers to approved, bankable actors and directors. Underwriting these offers is to secure an option on a mutually agreed slot of time during which the PPM is established. Once the bankable talent is attached, risk is mitigated, and the Fund can move onto the next step; financing the physical production and backstopping P&A.

5. The funding process for a project initially comprised of a marketable script, attached named director, and attached named talent, can take from 4 to 6 months to fully fund. The Fund targets the release of the movie via theatrical distribution no later than 12 months from start of production. The Fund’s objective is to recapture the equity investment 12 months after distribution and after recouping P&A plus coupon. SHSWIF negotiates directly with the principal’s agent through CAA, and we try to avoid the “producer brokers” of Hollywood.

6. In certain instances, SHSWFIF will look at funding the entire production costs of a film if the budget is under our film equity fund cap of $20M.

* 7. Refer to the chain-of-title and 'Produced By" credit guidelines on the "Development Financing" page of website.

 

Model #2 - Financing P&A Model (Prints and Advertising)

Funding cap 30 Mil per P&A project

1. This model applies when a producer group has the movie already made and funded, or is in the process of making or completing the film. The P&A financing is the key determinant to assure the ROI (return of investment) and usually runs about 30% of the total production budget (above and below the line). The P&A addresses the theatrical release along with the digital releases (Netflix, DVD, VOD, Cable) both domestic and international. P&A financing is “last in and first out” on the ROI waterfall. The Fund normally selects and negotiates with the distribution arm of a major studio through "CAA's film finance group" in Los Angeles.  We carefully monitor the distribution process to ensure that residuals come back to the right parties. Our attorneys and auditors are at times called in to support this process.

The timeline that the Fund tries to adhere to is recovering P&A principal and interest within 12 months of placement of principal funds. See separate page on P&A in the main menu.

Model #3 - The Script Development Model

Funding of scripts employing seasoned writers who are current members of the WGA; assisting in converting books to scripts and bringing unpublished ideas to the form of a film script. The Fund is willing to acquire movie rights of select books. This model is focused at acquiring property and being able to exercise early control over a script that might have strong potential to become commercially viable movie or TV series. The timeline that the Fund attempts to adhere to in taking the script and making a film is no more than 3 years.

The Fund will look into optioning of existing properties that have a script completed and eligible for production and distribution. These projects need to eligible to start production within 24 months of the signing of the option agreement.

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